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Ken Borland



Bulls not enervated by disjointed, error-ridden start 0

Posted on April 04, 2023 by Ken

The Bulls made a disjointed, error-ridden start to their United Rugby Championship match against Cardiff at Loftus Versfeld at the weekend, but it did not enervate them and coach Jake White was pleased by both their physical dominance and some superb touches on attack.

The Bulls scored six tries in a 45-9 thumping, but Cardiff were certainly more competitive than the scoreline suggests, some stout defence by the home side keeping them away from the tryline.

“In the first half we struggled to get our rhythm, we’d go for two or three phases, but it would be slow, slow ball or we would lose possession or concede a penalty,” White said.

“But we chatted about it at halftime and we decided to stay up a bit longer, don’t go to ground so quickly. But we had to work hard for that result after we gave them a good start.

“In the end we could see the power game come through, which is such a massive part of the Bulls game, but also the subtleties of the attack which was very pleasing to see.

“Some of our best players lost a couple of balls in contact and Cardiff loaded the breakdown really well. But it comes at a cost because if you don’t slow the ball down then there is space to attack out wide,” White said.

And the Bulls certainly had the machinery to take advantage of that space, as the visitors’ challenge faded as they were worn down by the heavy-duty bulldozers in the pack.

“We were able to attack that space out wide as Cardiff got more fatigued,” White said. “Canan Moodie and Kurt-Lee Arendse played really well together and every time Cardiff kicked on them you sensed something was going to happen.

“And also with Cornal Hendricks, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster and Johan Goosen, who were all on-song tonight, particularly when you give them good ball on the front foot.

“As soon as Goosen could run on to the ball, he opened holes or put other players away. He passed and ran to the line incredibly well, and the more he plays the better he and the players around him will be.

“I’m really excited, we scored lots of tries and we look dangerous every time the backs get the ball. And if you try a lot then you will make a lot of mistakes, but I don’t want the players to go into their shells,” White said.

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